A Story of Redemption and Grace


This story is about Pastor Ely Hernandez, a life that encompasses violence, drugs, servant of God and his downfall. This families' life begins in Colombia where due to the recent divorce of his mother, and problems with violence and the Cartel of Colombia, she decides to move to Puerto Rico. There she fell in love with a man that happens to be a Minister in Puerto Rico. Soon after that relationship brought a child and this man decides to leave his mother on her own. Ely was born not knowing his biological father. It was at the age of 14 years old that his mother became concerned with his lifestyle due to the violent environment that he was surrounded with. He was the younger of seven kids, and for Ely, his older brothers were more like role model to follow than anything else. The violence finally escalated to the point where his house was shot multiple times. One of his brothers ended up in an mental institution, some others died due the violent crime they were living. Others ended up sinking into drugs and alcohol. It was at this moment when Ely's mother decides to send him out of the country to Lynn, MA. to a friend's house seeking a better and safer environment not knowing she was sending him to another drug environment. There he became involved, with the at the time well known gang called, "The Latin Kings" . There he worked his way up through missions and assignments and became one of the main "crowns" (leader) for the Lynn Chapter of the Latin Kings. One night during a drug stop he was shot at close range with a magnum 357. caliber, and ended up in the Union Hospital of Lynn in a very bad physical condition. He was only 14 years of age at this point. 

Once his mother heard the news she flew from Puerto Rico to the states to receive and see her son laying down in a hospital bed. It was at this moment when he confessed to his mother the type of life that he was having in Lynn, Massachusetts. Soon after his release from the hospital, his mother took him to Woonsocket, RI. where they lived in a shelter for a period of two months. It was at this time when an emissary of the Lord, a man of God, came to pay the family a visit. God placed his hands on Ely, through the ministry of Pastor Jesus Gonzalez. He took him under his wings and managed to get him into the Rehoboth Seminar with headquarters in New York. Before turning 15 years of age, Ely began his courses in Theology for the next four years. He graduated from this seminar before turning 18 years of age with very high marks and a concentration in Eschatology, Hebrew culture (due to his Sephardic roots), and language. This was just the beginning of a very exciting ministry where he got to work with many well-known Ministers like Rony Chaves, Cesar de Paz, Peter Wagner and many others. He became a great speaker in demand and was well known in the New England.

In 2003 a case from 1991 comes out of the closet. A crime that was committed during his life of sin, now takes life and begins to haunt him. After finished one of his conference, on his way back from Puerto Rico to the states, he decides to come clean and confess to his mentors all the problems he was involved in. Soon after his confession, Federal Agents came to his house and arrested him for charges of gun trafficking, murder and many others. Just like Saul in a time of rebellion, Ely becomes to be tormented with the possibilities of facing 30 years to life in Federal Prison. Due to all the stress and the double life that he was living, little by little became to depart from covenant and commits what in Hebrew is call "Mah-al" (rebellion) to the covenant of God. He decides to run to not turn himself in. He started a relationship in which produce two child’s (ELiMelek and Nashley) outside of wedlock. This relationship was destine to failure due to all the lies and hurt surrounding it. Soon after his second child (Nashley) Ely and his partner at the time decides to finish their broken relationship due to so many factors. They never got married. This relationship was no longer suitable for both of them. Pastor Ely consider his “personal failure”, no something to be tormented today, but as a divine lesson. Pastor Ely mentions “I don’t regret my children, neither have I seen my personal failure as a reason to be shamed today; But as a divine lesson due to my rebellion. If I regret something, is not my children, but my rebellion”.

After four long years of running from the U.S. Marshalls he then meets a beautiful young lady who became to be his wife, Vanessa Hernandez, and somehow she influences in him, to turn himself in. After some prayer and reconciliation with God, the US Marshalls came to pick him up in a private complex in Puerto Rico. Knowing at the time that he was going to be gone for a long time he then decides to open ministry inside the walls of a federal prison. Now he sees himself with no glamour or titles to be recognized with, but is only considered a number facing thirty years in prison. God had other plans, once again he places his Mighty hand on him and a wonderful ministry became to blossom from inside the federal prison walls. In one night of prayer God spoke to him and mentioned the number fifty two. He then decides to speak with other brothers about how God was repeatedly speaking to him about this number. After (52) days in Puerto Rico's Federal prison that he is then sent to the United States. There he visited more that (20) federal prisons in which he established churches and hundreds of inmates became saved. The final destination was Rhode Island where the charges were pending and once again he will have to face the same Judge that he ran from in one occasion. Knowing that he might be to put away for a long time he goes and presents himself in front of this judge but with a certain conviction that God was the one in charge. It was at this time when the persecutor becomes to be a voice of a lawyer instead of an persecutor. Every single thing that he said was more to the benefit of Ely than anything else. At the end Ely's lawyer didn't have anything to say because the persecutor spoke great things about Ely. He stated how he can be a very good tool for the youth of this generation. The last verdict was (13) months in federal prison where (10) months were already served. Having (3) months left to serve minus one month for good behavior come to a total of 52 weeks...Praise YAH! Soon after his release he got married to a ministers' daughter, Vanessa Hernandez, the same woman that was used by God to reconcile himself back to the Creator of all things...YHWH! Today with four children and a great Reformed Messianic Congregation, Ely and Vanessa Hernandez lead a great ministry in Woonsocket that is growing in gigantic way. He started the ministry again two years ago in Providence, RI. and has establish (2) congregations since. 

A year ago he opened ministry in Woonsocket with membership of only four people and today the number is increasing mightily on a weekly basis. To know more about Ely's Ministry you can visit www.elyhernandez.org or visit the congregation at The Awakening Place, 129 Mason St. Woonsocket, RI. Services are held Thursdays at 7:30 pm, Saturdays at 10:30am, and Sundays at 12PM. All services are bilingual and the worship is great! If you're interested in blessing this ministry or speaking with Pastor Ely feel free to call at 1-877-321-4952


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